If you’re local and love art that’s inspired by pets and people and the beauty of New England, then you have probably seen the work of Jen Niles. With bold, bright designs on everything from cards, to prints, to commissioned paintings, Jen’s work captures the joy of everyday life. While her favorite theme is cats, that’s not all she’s inspired by. Here, in her own words, this busy artist shares with us how she got started, her process, and how you can own a piece of her work.
Can you share with us a bit about your work and how you got started?
“I am a self-taught artist and have been been drawing all my life. For many years I concentrated on pen & ink illustrations, including commissioned house portraits. In 2001 I began experimenting with acrylics, inspired by the comical antics and effortless elegance of my two cats, PK and Nellie. From there, I developed a recognizable, whimsical style, usually featuring bold color and cheerful subjects from everyday life. Whether it is my cats, my son, or my surroundings here at home in New England, I never fail to find inspiration. This year I am hoping to open a new chapter by circling back to my first love—pen and ink—but this time with color and texture added. As always, my mission is to help people celebrate the people, pets and places that they love. Regardless of which medium I use, I will continue to explore and honor all that inspires me.”
Do you take commissions?
“Yes. I do a variety of things. Since it’s the holiday season, I am currently doing whimsical, custom pet portrait ornaments, and also house portrait ornaments in a more realistic style. During the year I offer full sized pet portraits and house portraits, including a very special kind called “House & Home” portraits, which feature not only the house, but a border comprised of the family name and little scenes that mean a lot to the owner, such as a closeup of a special tree, a bike in the yard, a favorite birdhouse, a pet. These not only portray the house, but special memories from the family home.”
Where can someone view and purchase your work or contact you?
“In addition to selling art (and my colorful annual Jen Niles Art Wall Calendar) I also teach classes, including “Paint Your Pet”, at lots of locations like animal organizations, stores, libraries—even private home parties! I suggest people contact me directly, and I can email examples of the type of art they are interested in, discuss pricing and all that neat stuff. Though I am done with events for 2017, I occasionally sell at festivals, including stART on the Street and the Beacon Hill Art Walk, where I’ve won several ribbons! I also sell in local stores like Framed in Tatnuck, and some further away in Hudson, Westborough, Petersham and West Concord.
My web site is http://jennilesart.com/ and my Etsy shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/JenNilesArt?ref=profile_shopname
If you see something you like that’s not in the Etsy shop, I can create a listing just for you. Contact me at [email protected] any time.”
The 12 Days of an ARTful Holiday features local artists, crafters, and makers who work and/or live in Worcester, for 12 consecutive days of the holiday season. By letting them share their work in their own words, I am hoping readers will recognize the incredibly talented community of creatives we have here in our city, and consider their pieces and classes as a thoughtful, hand crafted, local option for gift giving this season.